Green Gold

Last season, cotton did not earn more than Rs 3,500 per quintal, said Kuldeep Singh, a Maur Mandi farmer who has kept his land vacant for guar this year too.

Vikas had even paid a harvesting charge of Rs 700 per acre, said Harbhajan Singh, another farmer in the same area.

THE GUAR STORY

* Guar is in demand for its derivatives; a special gum is made from its seeds and used as coolant for drilling and also in thermal power stations.

* Guar gives back to the land on which it is grown instead of draining groundwater. Studies show it helps nitrogen growth in the soil.

* Nearly 80 per cent of the world's guar is grown in India and Pakistan.

* The crop is best grown in semi-arid zones and Rajasthan is the main producer, with Jodhpur being the main centre.

* Poor prices had forced Punjab farmers to stop growing guar until last year.

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